Led by Senior Investigative Reporter Bigad Shaban, the full five-part series is now available to stream on NBCBayArea.com, YouTube, Roku and Apple TV
SAN JOSE, CA – (December 4, 2019) – NBC Bay Area has released “DERAILED,” a five-part, digital-original investigation that exposes how a once renowned subway system in the San Francisco Bay Area became one of the most dangerous in the country. The series focuses on Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), a transportation network that serves more than 420,000 commuters each day. The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit, led by Senior Investigative Reporter Bigad Shaban, spent months interviewing passengers, questioning top BART officials, analyzing thousands of crime records, and recording on BART trains across the Bay Area at all hours. The series was designed as a digital-first investigation.
“We set out to take a comprehensive look at BART in a way that also held the agency’s top leaders accountable for what we discovered are far-reaching safety concerns,” Shaban said. “We relied on data-driven reporting, compelling interviews, and footage from our own viewers to tell the story of serious and systemic problems within BART.”
“At NBC Bay Area we are constantly striving to provide our audience with the best digital and social experience for every story,” said Stephanie Adrouny, Vice President of News at NBC Bay Area. “We’re very proud of this innovative series from our award-winning investigative team. It focuses on an important quality of life topic for people across the Bay Area.”
Among the findings of the investigation is that BART has a higher rate of violent crime than transportation systems in New York, D.C., and Atlanta.
CHAPTER 1: ALL ABOARD
From tasers and knives, to street performers and exotic animals, you never know what you’ll see when you hop on a BART train. The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit spent months combing through police records and talking to passengers who fear BART has become too dangerous to ride.
CHAPTER 2: THE TRAIN HAS LEFT THE STATION
Building the original BART system took five years and $1.6 billion. The transportation network was unveiled in the early 1970s with much fanfare, but in recent years, the agency has lost the public’s trust after a string of high-profile passenger deaths.
CHAPTER 3: END OF THE LINE
BART Interim Police Chief Ed Alvarez acknowledges his police force of roughly 170 officers is not large enough to adequately protect passengers. He hopes to hire about 100 additional officers over the next five years, but that is contingent on receiving significantly more funding for his department.
CHAPTER 4: BLIND TURN
For months, the NBC Bay Area Investigative team sought to obtain BART surveillance videos used to close more than 100 criminal cases. BART, however, has refused to release the footage and faces allegations of lacking transparency in light of its record of withholding police reports and surveillance video.
CHAPTER 5: FULL STEAM AHEAD
BART’s new General Manager Bob Powers has a long-term safety plan to boost the agency’s police force by about 100 officers and install new barriers at each of BART’s 48 stations. It’s unclear, however, whether the agency will be able to secure the millions of dollars necessary to make those changes and protect passengers.
For more on the investigation visit nbcbayarea.com/investigations.
ABOUT NBC BAY AREA
Owned by NBC Universal, NBC Bay Area / KNTV is the Bay Area’s investigative station located in the heart of Silicon Valley. The station is committed to providing continuous, in-depth journalism with unique personalities. Along with broadcasting NBC’s award-winning daytime, prime-time and late night programming, NBC Bay Area produces more than 32 hours of news programming each week. COZI TV, the station’s digital network, offers a full schedule of America’s most beloved and iconic television series, hit movies and original programming. COZI TV can be seen locally on Comcast 186, Verizon 460, and over-the-air on 11.3.